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From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne
     

From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne

by Valerie Knowles, George M. Smerk (Editor)
 

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William C. Van Horne, a true titan of North American business, started his railroad career at the age of 12 working various jobs for the Michigan Central, and crowned it by becoming the president of the Canadian Pacific. He is credited with opening Cuba’s interior by means of railway, greatly expanding Canada’s interests by launching the sea transport

Overview

William C. Van Horne, a true titan of North American business, started his railroad career at the age of 12 working various jobs for the Michigan Central, and crowned it by becoming the president of the Canadian Pacific. He is credited with opening Cuba’s interior by means of railway, greatly expanding Canada’s interests by launching the sea transport division of the Canadian Pacific—with regular luxury liner service between Vancouver and Hong Kong—and completing Canada’s first transcontinental railway. Van Horne was knighted by Queen Victoria for his contributions to Canadian Unity and, more recently, was named Laureate of the Century by the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. A man of many talents, Van Horne was also Canada's premier art collector and one of its leading financiers. In From Telegrapher to Titan, Valerie Knowles delivers a gripping account of this larger-than-life figure.

Editorial Reviews

Herbert H. Harwood

"Given the subject's significance... I think Indiana University Press has an opportunity... to fill an inexcusable void in both railroad and Canadian history." —Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway: J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake, (IUP, 2008)

Branchline
"For the most part, Van Horne was a remarkable person and for Canada a real hero that helped pull Canada together and settle the west. Valerie Knowles has done an excellent job in describing the man and telling his story. The book is easy to read and, as in all good history books, includes a broad range of references. It is certainly well worth the read and is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about Van Horne." —Bruce Ballantyne, Branchline, June 2005, reviewing a previous edition or volume

— Bruce Ballantyne

The Michigan Railfan

"While much has been written about the CPR's construction and early years of operation, there has been comparatively little recorded about the man who was such a key figure in its early history.This exhaustive volume by Valerie Knowles fills that void nicely." —The Michigan Railfan, Vol. 72#3, May-June 2011

NMRA Magazine

"In this volume, Valerie Knowles delivers a gripping account of this larger-than-life figure." —NMRA Magazine

From the Publisher

"While much has been written about the CPR's construction and early years of operation, there has been comparatively little recorded about the man who was such a key figure in its early history.This exhaustive volume by Valerie Knowles fills that void nicely." —The Michigan Railfan, Vol. 72#3, May-June 2011

Rail Canadien
This book is a must for any student of Canadian railway history.

Winnipeg Free Press - Graeme Voyer
This biography is a significant contribution to the history of Canadian transportation.

McGill News Alumni Quarterly - Andrew Mullins
Knowles has constructed an admirable biography of the railway titan ... providing a different perspective of the much-told story of the CPR, and also a portrait of Canada at the turn of the last century and the larger-than-life pioneers of Canadian transportation.

The Beaver - R.B. Fleming
... her biography will remain a good reference book for all aspects of Van Horne's life and career for a long time to come.

Branchline - Bruce Ballantyne
Valerie Knowles has done an excellent job in describing the man and telling his story. The book is easy to read and, as in all good history books, includes a broad range of references. It is certainly well worth the read and is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about Van Horne.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253222503
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Series:
Railroads Past and Present Series
Pages:
504
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"... her biography will remain a good reference book for all aspects of Van Horne's life and career for a long time to come."

"From Telegrapher to Titan is more than a biography; it is a first-rate work of business history, covering in detail the development of railways in 19th-century North America." -Graeme Voyer, Winnipeg Free Press, May 2, 2004.

Meet the Author

Valerie Knowles is author of several books, including Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540–2006.

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